Southeast Missouri State University student publication

New professors take on duties in Department of History

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Department of History at Southeast Missouri State University is taking on two new professors this year to replace professors Dr. Bonnie Stepenoff, who retired last year and Dr. Frank Nickell, who is retiring from teaching and from his position as the director of the Center of Regional History this year. Dr. Lily Santoro and Dr. Adam Criblez are both assistant professors on the tenure track in the history department.

Criblez, who received his doctorate from Purdue University, came to Cape Girardeau from Ohio, and is set to replace Nickell as the director of the Center of Regional History. Nickell has been the director for 20 years, and Criblez said he has some big shoes to fill.

"Dr. Nickell has been doing this for a long time," Criblez said. "Right now he has forgotten more about southeast Missouri history than I know."

Criblez will begin training in January and take the position in the spring. Criblez specializes in 19th century American History and 4th of July Celebrations. He is looking forward to teaching Missouri history and a public history classes in the spring. He is also hoping to tweak and improve online versions of the American History courses US 105 and 107.

"Its a transition," Criblez said. "But I really enjoy the department. So far, so good."

Lily Santoro has been all over the country, but said she really enjoys Southeast and Cape Girardeau. She is originally from New York, but did her undergraduate work in California. She received her masters and doctorate from the University of Delaware. She moved to Cape Girardeau from Iowa.

It was at the University of Delaware where she discovered her love of teaching.

"I had gone to Delaware to do museum studies and work in archives when I was a graduate student," Santoro said. "Graduate students are required to assistant teach, and that is where I discovered that teaching was so much more fun."

Her specialities in history include archiving religion and science in early America. She is teaching a colonial America class and an archives and special collections management class next spring.

"Everyone [in the department] has been very welcoming and we work together well," Santoro said. "My students are terrific."